I am writing to you from the box office of the theater company I belong
to. It is opening night of the first show of our 10th Season.
Everyone's level of stress is running high because everyone wants
everything to go right. Not perfectly, just right, which really means
the same thing.
I am writing from a relatively safe place (I won't be watching the
show), as all I have to do is make sure everyone on the list has shown
up so we can start on time (we won't) and peddle concessions; later,
during Act Two, I'll set up the after-party chow and booze in the
lobby. The people coming to see this show tonight could be divided into
two basic groups: Friends and Enemies. The Enemies are the critics and
the Jeff judges (the latter are representatives of the Joseph Jefferson
Awards, the Chicago equivalent of the Tonys). They're not our enemies,
really, it's just fun to call them that, but we do want their approval,
their good words, their recommendations. When we get them, they are our
Friends; we don't get them, they aren't.
We create this Art and we want it to go well and we want it to reach
Strangers as well as Friends and hope we won't have Enemies. And we
rest the perception of our worth on the effect of one single night, not
realizing that it's more than tonight, it's every time we make that
- - -
Read JS's "Alabama vs. Chengdu."
w i g · l e a F